What I Learned in October

What I Learned in October

DSCN4604eEmily Freeman is hosting her What I Learned link up again this month, one of my very favorites. The great thing about this link up is all the additional things I learn by reading others’ posts…outstanding blogs I wasn’t aware of, not so trivial trivia, fun facts, inspiration, and so much more. Head over to Chatting at the Sky to peruse. For me…here’s what I learned in October.


….something I didn’t know about how women who show up show up 

So…everyone’s already reading Momastery, Glennon Doyle Melton’s terrific, truth-telling blog, right? (Sometimes don’t you feel like you’re late to the game and everyone already knows the stuff you’re just discovering? Well, just in case you’re not privy, I’m just sayin’….) Maybe I appreciate Glennon so much because my OneWord focus this year is HONEST and she is nothing if not that. Or, maybe it’s because she’s actually implementing the very thing I still struggle with…doing things afraid. I can’t tell you how long I’ve had this displayed in my house, yet have shied away from heeding its advice. When I have heeded I’ve succeeded. I’ve sucked it up, quit being a chicken, jumped in, allowing no time whatsoever to talk myself out of it, and in those rare times, low and behold, it’s proven to be a wonderful experience. Nevertheless, it is not happened enough…not nearly enough. So why am I talking about all this? Because Glennon has made an amazing discovery concerning this, and I want you to hear her share the powerful truth of it. Oh my goodness, how terrifically terrific these wisdom words are…especially for people like me. If you too have been waiting, searching, wondering when or if you’re ever going to begin living the life you were meant to live, listen to this short video. Hear and heed. And if you’re like me and you’re still paralyzed by fear or insecurity or doubt or excuses, or whatever it is that’s holding you back from being brave, then at the very least you might get just a wee bit closer to throwing caution to the wind and _____. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take all the help I can get. Watch Glennon here.

about a new perspective on purpose 

While we’re on the subject of searching for the life you were meant to live, may I also suggest a terrific book I’ve read recently? Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer provides a refreshing perspective to the frequent perplexity involved in searching for one’s purpose. This book takes that search from the mentality of discovery to one of realization, thus the title…let your life speak. Could it be that, like most things we go questing for, it’s right under our noses but we’re too busy looking for something out there…somewhere outside our self? Palmer says, “Vocation at its deepest level is, ‘This is something I can’t not do, for reasons I’m unable to explain to anyone else and don’t fully understand myself but that are nonetheless compelling.’” What am I already doing? What is that thing…no matter how unremarkable I deem it? Explore that. Let Your Life Speak is a short, easy read that packs a powerful punch…uncommon wisdom and inspiration that I’ve decided will have a permanent home on my bookshelf. You can read an excerpt or listen to a sample of the Audible audio edition here.

that God, in His great mercy, keeps finding ways to tell me to r-e-l-a-x 

Pretty quick here you’re going to start seeing a pattern tipping you off to what’s been on my mind of late, and thankfully lots has been crossing my path about it lately. I told my niece recently that I’ve had this feeling like the clock was ticking and I had to hurry up and discover what it was I had to do to say I’d lived a life of meaning. Menopausal musings? Maybe. My mind’s been racing like a hamster on a wheel getting nowhere. It’s what’s caused me to seek out books, music, new habits…any and everything that promotes peace in the midst of this mental mayhem. Finding that elusive thing we call “meaning”, that thing we’re all searching for, well how much peace could that bring?  These fabulous words, also by Glennon Doyle Melton (again…I’m just sayin’) were so. very. heartening.

about a unique, creative way to document life 

Thanks to my sons (one who brought the sales pitch and the other who bought the phone) I’ve joined the ranks of iPhone owners. Learning my way around the new operating system hasn’t been much of a problem but replacing my favorite Android apps with similar iOS apps has been a bit time consuming. Nevertheless, while searching the AppStore I did discover a terrific little app called Stellar, which allows you to create beautiful visual stories to document your travel adventures, favorite photos, recipe creations, family fun or simply your everyday life…all using your own pictures, videos, and text. There’s lots of inspiration to explore by viewing what others have created (you can follow and like the people and projects you admire) to get your own creative juices flowing or to just be entertained. I’m no expert in photography or in using this app, but here is my first little creation documenting our most recent motorcycle trip. If you create an account let me know so I can follow your “stellar” life.

…that there’s no shortage of corn in America 

On the spur of the moment my husband and I decided that, rather than using a transport company, we would fly to Iowa to pick up his new(est) motorcycle and drive it back to New York…a 12oo mile road trip on a not-any-wider-than-an-alligator seat through the heartland of America. The weather forecast for the next 10 days was picture perfect along the entire route so we bought the tickets and set out for what we hoped would be a wonderful adventure. Thankfully, it was! Totally terrific. With no particular agenda but not wanting to tax ourselves too much we set out, making time on super highways while still making time for scenic byways.  We saw lots of sights along the way, stopping spontaneously at charming shopping villages, classic car shows, interesting eateries, and even the little Illinois town where we first met over 37 years ago. But what we saw the most of….corn! Field after golden field for miles and miles, combines rolling state after state after state…harvesting some of the 87 million acres of corn grown each year here in the United States of America…six of which we saw under the spacious skies and across the fruited plain that is America the beautiful…riding on an alligator seat.



This post contains my affiliate links


Moving the Mountain of Misconduct

Moving the Mountain of Misconduct

sil4It’s been a while since I’ve participated, but today I’m joining the writers over at Kate Motaung’s Heading Home for the weekly writing challenge which is Five Minute Friday. Kate’s doing a great job as the new host since Lisa Jo passed the baton to her several months ago. The gang hasn’t missed a beat, still producing great, thought-provoking pieces and all the while keeping the community strong.  Here’s my less than five minute contribution to this week’s prompt: DARE

In the face of

repeated failure

glaring inconsistency

fickle feelings

dark emotions

tormenting thoughts

hounding condemnation

countless mistakes

agonizing regrets

unshakeable shame

In spite of

any and all evidence to the contrary…


to believe

you are 

who He says you are.

If any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. II Corinthians 5:17

Put on the new man which in the likeness of God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24


I’ve written a lot more on this subject here

Breathing Room: Review

Breathing Room: Review

breathingroomLately I’ve been searching for books that speak of space, quiet, and peace…permission to relax and just be. Having recently joined the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program, I was thrilled when they provided a copy of Leeana Tankersley’s new book, Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live for review. This delightful, insightful read stands out as one of the best in my recent reading repertoire.

In the midst of the challenges of motherhood, miscarriage, and moving her family to follow her Navy Seal husband to the country of Bahrain, Leeana found herself in a very dark place. Sharing her story in a transparent, relatable way she creates for the reader a sense of being understood and uplifted, as if sharing one’s struggles with a caring and very wise friend.

No matter the unique nature of your individual circumstance everyone can benefit from the wisdom Leeana offers as she exposes the insidious nature of the myriad things that bind us…toxic voices, a desire for control, self-bullying, fear, grief, lack of accomplishment and direction, or just the fact that life, at times, is undeniably hard. Coming through loud and clear is the message almost every woman needs to hear…show yourself compassion.

More than a message on how to seek peace without, Leeana stresses the truth that “If your insides aren’t peaceful it matters not what’s outside.” Not just preachy but practical, Leeana offers substantial, sound advice that provides welcome relief from the diverse challenges of simply being human…of being alive. Her relaxed, relatable writing sytle make this book breathing room in itself, creating a sense of calm and comfort simply in the reading. You will come away refreshed…and relieved.

To read an excerpt from Breathing Room

⤹ click here⤵

 To learn more about Leeana visit www.leeanatankersley.com



This post contains my affiliate links

Photo Credit

Searching for Meaning

Searching for Meaning

imageToday marks day one, year three of blogging here at My Word Study. It’s been two years of discovery. Sometimes we have to explore and experiment to not only discover our passions but also to eliminate things as possibilities. One thing I’ve realized in these past two years is that writing is hard work. Additionally, and this has been somewhat of a surprise to me, I’ve found I don’t enjoy it as much as I once believed. Or maybe I should say certain styles of it.

I’ve always considered myself a writer, partly because I can, but I haven’t actually done it much, not since college anyway. There I always got positive feedback from my professors, but looking back I realize that most of my writing was literary analysis…offering an interpretation of a piece of literature to uncover and expound upon the meaning the author sought to convey in the work. Creative writing? I can’t ever remember doing it. I’ve attempted it here with little success. No, I’m not one who is any good at creating an original piece. What I do is repeat, recount, restate, in a sense regurgitate words written by others.

I’m discovering, with the help of two years of blogging, that not much has changed since college. Most of my writing is still literary analysis, offering an interpretation of a piece to uncover and expound upon the meaning the author wanted to convey. I still use such things as context, theme, allegory, and symbolism to find that meaning. What has changed is the Author whose words I search out. By searching for meaning in His words I’m finding the meaning in mine.

Looking forward to year three of my Word study.

In Light of the Promise

In Light of the Promise

1rainbowJoining Five Minute Friday for this week’s prompt…  HOLD

Reading I Chronicles 17 this morning I was struck by a prayer of David that’s recorded there. Something in it seemed a bit gutsy to me, but upon further inspection I’m feeling a bit more daring myself now.

Speaking to Nathan the prophet, David reveals his desire to build a permanent house for God. Nathan encourages him to do what’s in his heart but later receives a word from the Lord concerning David’s intention. As instructed, Nathan promptly goes to David and tells him of God’s surprising and unexpected response to the plan. As it turns out, God has a building plan of His own for the word that comes to David is,

…the Lord will build a house for you.”

God proceeds to reveal His intention to establish David’s house, a permanent house, to make David’s name great, and to establish his kingdom to last forever through his son Solomon.  God graciously reveals His will to David concerning His plans, His provision, His promise to bless him and his descendants.

In response, David goes before the Lord and utters a humble, heartfelt prayer. But amongst his expressions of gratitude and wonder at the Lord’s generosity and honor towards him, David is so bold as to speak these words to God…

…do as Thou hast spoken.

These words sound somewhat brave (and maybe even a little bossy), and seemingly they are, for David goes on to say,

…therefore Thy servant hath found courage to pray before Thee.

Where did he get this courage and boldness? To find out I use this handy Bible study tip: when you see the word “therefore“, find out what it’s there for. David said he “therefore…found courage to pray”. The words prior to “therefore” reveal the reason for his boldness…

“For Thou, O God, hast revealed to thy servant that Thou will build for him a house, therefore

There it is…the foundation of his boldness. God had just revealed His will to David. David goes on to say,

Thou hast promised this good thing to Thy servant.”

It was in light of God’s words of promise to him that David was able to say to God, “…do as Thou hast spoken“.

We, as he, have had God’s will for us revealed….His Word concerning His plans, His provision, His promises to us and to our descendants. So let’s be diligent to go to His Word, find those promises, and therefore find courage to, along with David, say to God…

“Do as Thou hast spoken.”

In light of the promises, in humble prayer, like David, we too can find courage in prayer, courage to be bold… so bold as to hold God to His Word.

You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves. Isaiah 62:6b


September Photo A Day and a Giveaway

September Photo A Day and a Giveaway

giveawayCan you believe it’s September already? Fall is upon us…a brand new season of beauty. Today also begins a brand new month of the Mark 4:30 Photo A Day challenge.  After completing this month’s inspiration list weeks ago, I afterwards had a different thought begin to gently nudge, so at the last minute I made a change. Following this inspiration I created this new list prompted by something I’ve been focusing on a lot lately….rest.

One resource that’s proven helpful in this journey to realize sustaining soul rest is Bonnie Gray’s moving book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest . In honor of her heartfelt, inspirational words I’ve drawn September’s photo prompts from scriptures that speak of stillness, silence, quiet, and calm. They’ll be daily reminders to just breathe…inhaling peace, tranquility and rest so we can exhale stress, anxiety and restlessness…scriptures that teach and hopefully help us reach…rest.

To make things more fun and to help you stay focused on finding whitespace every single day, at the end of the month I’ll give away a copy of  Finding Spiritual Whitespace to one participant who posts their own unique photos (no images from the web please) during September. I’ve found taking a photo each day in itself slows me down, helping me notice and take in the beauty that surrounds me.

As always there are no rules when it comes to what we “picture“. Use the highlighted word(s) within the Word as inspiration or take a photo depicting the essence of the entire verse, which could make for some really beautiful photography this month! Grab a friend to play along too. It’s fun to see what others come up with. If you’re new to Mark 4:30 Photo A Day everything you need to know to participate can be found here.

Here’s the “new inspiration” list followed by Continue reading

Golden Silence

Golden Silence

DSC00144e21©I’m not sure if it’s the down side of a zeal for organization, but I tend to have a meltdown when I can’t find things. I know they’re not lost, they’re here somewhere…but where? I cannot give up the search, I seek until I find.

They’re some of my most favorite things, yet lately…I just can’t find them. They’ve been missing for a while now. Honestly, I’m wearying myself with the search. Frantic, determined, panicked, longing, I keep hunting, seeking, grasping, but still…I come up empty. How long will they elude me…

how long will words elude me?

I’m navigating a new season of life and many things are different. I don’t fully know how to live in this unfamiliar pace and space, and I’m finding more and more that…

there are no words

I’m reminded of a stagnant screen with no new content… nagging, condemning, harassing, making me wonder, in yet another way, about my state…about myself. But how can I tell a story when…

there are no words

I watch others live…energized, focused, full of vision and direction, and I puzzle at my lack thereof.  I search, and read, and ask, and worry…that time is slipping by and I don’t want to miss it…whatever “it” is….

but even in this…there are no words

I try to stay calm, try to pray in spite of restlessness, scattered thoughts, wondering, wandering…the sense of nothingness near, accomplishment absent, direction distant…

but yet again…there are no words

I read a book, a chapter in a book, an idea expressed on a page, and I feel something welling up from deep within…Providence, permission, peace…

and…there are no words

only a soft surge, a gentle wave of weeping, creeping up from a tired soul…tired of looking for words to say, words to pray.

My heart breathes an exhale, long overdue, as I consider…maybe words aren’t necessary. Maybe it’s okay when…

there are no words

…for the Spirit helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings

too deep for words…

So now I’ve begun a different search. It’s a search for something I wasn’t aware was lost, something I didn’t recognize the incredible value or benefit of, but am beginning to like the sound of….

the sound…of silence.

You see, I’m starting to realize, am being set free by the notion that maybe the best prayers, the deepest, most heart-felt, honest prayers are prayed when

there are no words…

in the unutterable longings and deep gratitude offered in the solemn sincerity of silence. Maybe heaven hears cries uttered in silence.

I’m also beginning to believe this sound of silence might relieve the frustration felt when, no matter how hard I strain to hear from heaven…

there are no words

That maybe, now, I’ll hear something in the silence, for

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse sheweth the work of his hands. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech and

there are no words,

yet their voice is heard.

It may be that words, a wealth of words, can be found in the sound of silence.



This post contains my affiliate link

I captured the ‘bench’ photo in Jocotepec, Mexico.

Posting as part of Five Minute FridayFaith Barista and No Words are Needed

August Photo A Day

August Photo A Day

rose thornHello August! Hello to a new month of photo challenges. This month I’ve decided to do something a little different for the Mark 4:30 Photo a Day challenge, and it will be a challenge in the truest sense of the word. We’re going to be concentrating our focus by using one theme for the entire month of photo prompts. It’s a theme that will serve as a daily reminder, ensuring we don’t forget something that’s often entirely overlooked but of utmost importance…Continue reading

Meeting in the Middle

Meeting in the Middle

centerSDid you know that today, July 2nd, marks the exact middle of the year?  Yes, as of last night we’ve lived 182 days of 2014 and beginning tomorrow, God willing, we’ll live the remaining 182. But today? Well, today we’re right in the middle.

For a girl like me, today seems kind of special. Why? Because I have this weird thing about symmetry. I don’t know why, but I love it. Things symmetrical are made of exactly similar parts facing each other around an axis. So today, the day smack dab in the middle of two 182 day parts, this day feels kind of like a free day…the axis around which these two parts of the year face. And to me, the axis doesn’t really count. So I’m taking this day, this axis day, and using it to make sense of what surrounds it.  Yes, I’ve decided to have a meeting with myself this mid-day to look back and to look forward, to deliberate and to determine (to the extent that any of us can) where I’ve been and where it is I want to go for this second half of the year.

I have no particular wisdom to share with you today, nothing profound to pass along, just a desire to make you aware of the point we’ve reached. Might I encourage you, right here in the middle of this thing we call time, measured by mortals in days and years, to pause and to ponder, to reflect and review, and possibly recalculate?  I, for one, don’t want to one day look back on this middle day only to find I was actually in the middle…of nowhere.


Here’s a couple of super great resources from Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, that might prove useful as you ponder and plan.

His book, Storyline, leads you step by step to understanding and living your part in God’s story

On his blog: A Free Week of Life Coaching



This post contains my affiliate links 
Photo by dynamosquito available through a Creative Commons License 

July Photo a Day

July Photo a Day

handoftimeJuly has arrived and here we are, halfway through 2014!  Hard to believe, isn’t it? Are you out there enjoying these wonderful days of summer, doing things that matter most to you? We have to be intentional about these things of life, you know…or time just gets by us. Life gets by us.

This month we’ll be celebrating Independence Day here in the USA. I can’t think of too many things more worth celebrating than freedom! The dictionary defines freedom asContinue reading